American Slavery In The 1800s

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Slavery was a part of American life dating back to before the founding of the original thirteen colonies. Slaves were used to grow cash crops such as sugar cane, indigo, and tobacco; however, the emergence of the cotton kingdom in the Southern United States led to enormous growth of the use of slave labor throughout the South and even into the developing western territories. The expansion of slave labor became a major political, social, and religious issue for many northern politicians and reform activists. During the mid 1800s, the debate became more and more heated as abolitionist and antislavery sentiments became more prevalent throughout the North. To counter this trend, Southerners vigorously fought attempts by the Federal government to …show more content…
The account also allows us to better analyze the reasons for the expansion of American slavery and its effect on southern traditions and beliefs in the decades following the Civil War and Emancipation. Racism was engrained in the minds of Southerners from all walks of life, so the inequality that existed between African Americans and whites continued for long after the emancipation of slaves and still continues in some places today. Ultimately, this account of slavery should cause modern Americans to realize that, although early American ideals had good intentions and did improve equality and liberty amongst certain classes of people, it was still very incomplete and left out significant groups of people. Southern slavery was one of the cruelest modern institutions in history. Douglass’s “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” presents many excellent examples that demonstrate the horrible conditions slaves were forced to live in. The narrative also fully refutes the arguments made by Fitzhugh and other proslavery activists such as calming that African Americans were happy and freer as slaves and that they were inferior and therefore unfit for American liberty. The severe punishments and harsh conditions that are detailed in by Douglass clearly show that slaves were not freer and were not happier with their condition. By learning to read, write, and effectively argue against slavery, Douglass proves that African Americans can match the intellectual capacity of whites and that the true meaning liberty is very well understood by African Americans. The “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is an extremely important piece of American literature that enhances our view on early American History and slavery in North

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